No Sweat School Assignments
No Sweat School Assignments
With school right around the corner, it is only a matter of time before the assignments for book reports, history and science projects begin. Some kids work way ahead and others wait until the last minute. Regardless of your child’s homework style, York County Libraries have online resources that can be of help.
Lots of students start their searches online. They query a topic and hundreds, sometimes thousands of results come back. The problem is how to know which ones are credible sources. That’s where the library comes in; librarians know how to find vetted, quality resources. That’s what they studied in school after all! Besides being available at our physical locations, our librarians make sure we offer access to quality resources on our website so that when it comes school project time, kids and parents can find reliable information 24/7.
One of the best overall resources is POWER Library. Librarian Laura O’Grady points to AP Images as a safe way for students to browse images that appeared in the news. Kids can access sound bites, graphics, State of the Union speeches and more; enabling them to add multimedia to their projects. And at science project time, she suggests the SIRS Discoverer Science Fair Explorer database. Using the interactive graphics, students click on the pictures representing different types of science, such as chemistry in the kitchen and water science in the bathroom. The resource includes supply lists, directions, and how-to graphics; everything your child needs to get started towards snagging that A!
By Deb Sullivan
Minecraft Builds Skills & Imagination
You may have heard of it before. This wildly popular game is taking the world by storm- and has been for a few years now. Minecraft is a sandbox game, meaning the player has free reign to interact with the world around them. This important feature makes every player the creator of their own game. Users can play in survival mode, meaning they need to gather resources and build structures to survive, or creative mode, where unlimited resources allow them to build and create to their heart’s desire.
York County Libraries had a traveling Minecraft program this summer. We visited each library with Minecraft challenges to test even the most advanced player. So far we’ve had participants build sky-high roller coasters, tree houses made of diamonds, and compete in a survival mode scavenger hunt. While the game may look out dated to the untrained eye, the simple block-like graphics are what makes the game so easy to manipulate. With a few simple controls you can be on your way to re-creating the Empire State Building, building a sustainable farm, or searching the ocean floor for a portal to another world.
If you’ve ever heard Minecraft players passionately discuss the game then you’d never guess that it is just as educational as it is recreational. Minecraft challenges users to plan, follow recipes, manage their time, barter and trade with other users, and most of all stretch their imagination as far as it can go.
Martin Library will resume Minecraft Club on Saturday mornings this fall. If you have any questions about Minecraft or our Minecraft programs please contact Laura O’Grady at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Laura O’Grady
Let Them Read Comics By Megan Ransom-Koehler
Calling all parents…Do you have a reluctant reader? Does your child love to read? Do you know about The Summer Slide? The Summer Slide is when children go to school in the fall having forgotten everything they learned the previous school year, because they did not practice any skills over the summer. Every teacher’s nightmare…
How do you as parents combat The Summer Slide?
- Have your child read or read to your child.
- Read a favorite book or try something new.
- Have you tried reading a comic book or a graphic novel?
It never hurts to try.
Here are a few suggestions for elementary and middle school students:
For younger readers, graphic novels with fewer words and more pictures help their growing reading comprehension skills. Titles like Owly, Bean Dog and Nugget, Benjamin Bear, and Barry’s Best Buddy have the comfortable balance of the perfect words and descriptive pictures to allow the reader to comprehend the meaning of the text.
Middle grade readers enjoy a faster paced story with more words, but still need the descriptive pictures to understand the meaning of the text. Titles like Babymouse, The Good, the Bad, and the Monkeys, and Nursery Rhyme Comics have a faster paced story and more words to help build the reading vocabulary of elementary aged students.
Of course there are titles that readers of all abilities enjoy.
- Titles like Thea Stilton and the Disney Fairies attract many girls to the world of graphic novels.
- The Lunch Lady and Pokémon series attract many boys to read graphic novels. Popular titles from mainstream media have a following in graphic novels.
- Did you know that the Smurfs, Adventure Time, and Percy Jackson and the Olympians The Lighting Thief were turned into graphic novels?
Finally, some hidden gems are residents on our shelves. Titles like Ballad and Fairy Tale Comics surprise you when you see how beautifully these stories are drawn and written. You may want to read them again and again.
What’s in your Backyard?
York County Parks Naturalist Kelsey Frey is visiting libraries this summer to encourage kids and their families to discover the science that exists right outside their back doors. So often, we run right past the food chain that exists in our backyards. When you look closer, you may see a variety of insects, American toads, salamanders, moths, beetles, and grasshoppers. And of course there are squirrels. Did you know that all squirrels actually look different? And that you can figure out whether or not it is the same squirrel coming to your bird feeder?
According to Kelsey, most people don’t know that they can help scientists by sending them pictures of what they see. Photos of ladybugs, reptiles or amphibians, lightning bugs and nesting birds are all of interest to scientists. During her presentations, she will share how to connect with scientists. Attendees will also get to try some simple experiments during the program, and get ideas for additional experiments ones to do at home. For a list of where she’ll be, click here.
By Deb Sullivan
The Library is Going to the Dogs!
I mean that literally. Many libraries have a program where children read to certified therapy dogs.
The children are anywhere from beginning readers to reluctant readers to those that just like to read.
At Red Land we hold our program during Summer Reading Club. At 11:30 am on Friday’s, five Shetland collies make their way from the front door of the library to the Children’s Room in the rear. The atmosphere is electric. It’s as if a celebrity has entered the building.
Children gather around to pet the dogs and sign up for their 15 minutes of one -on-one time.
If they’ve finished their book before the 15 minutes are up, it’s bonus time for some doggie love.
Studies show that the more children read aloud, the better readers they become. By reading to dogs, the children are free to read any way they can. There isn’t any pressure to perform and get it right. If a child asks for help, the dog handler will offer guidance, but basically the child is on their own.
Check out the Events calendar for a listing of the libraries and when they hold their Read to the Dogs programs. You’ll be glad you did.